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Bhutan

Dr. Bhim Rai and a patient.
Dr. Bhim Rai and a patient.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit in Bhutan.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit in Bhutan.

Since 2000, HCP has partnered with the Royal Government of Bhutan to develop a comprehensive system of eye care for the nation of over 700,000, supporting the sub-specialty training for eight Bhutanese ophthalmologists and dozens of paramedical staff in addition to providing more than 7,000 sight-restoring eye surgeries and distributing more than 10,000 pairs of reading glasses.

In 2011, Dr. Bhim Rai, Bhutan’s first vitreo-retina specialist, completed a 15-month fellowship at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal, and HCP procured specialized equipment for his new vitreo-retina practice at Bhutan’s National Hospital in Thimpu. As Dr. Rai was preparing to return to Bhutan, he overlapped with two Bhutanese colleagues that HCP sent to Tilganga who arrived for paramedical training in vitreo-retina.

Bhutan — Primary Eye Care Program

Cataract Surgeries 2011 2012 2013
Hospital-Based Surgeries 1,337 958 1,316
Outreach Surgeries 472 551 643
Total Surgeries 1,809 1,509 1,959

Goal for 2015 is 5,000 surgeries.

A Patient's Story from Bhutan

Tshering Penjor
Tshering Penjor

Tshering Penjor, a Bhutanese student studying architecture in India, was injured during a friendly basketball game with fellow students. Following initial concern about the potential for permanent loss of vision, Tshering returned home to Bhutan and connected with retinal specialist Dr. Bhim Rai whose fellowship training HCP supported in 2012. 

Read a moving story written by Tshering